The following is a statement from Chief Edward Flynn in response to the statement issued by Alderman Bob Donovan. Click here to read the Milwaukee Police Department’s vehicle pursuit policy.
I agree it can be frustrating for our hard-working officers to see non-violent criminals speed away from them at traffic stops. But my primary responsibility as Chief is to protect life: the lives of the innocent, the lives of police officers and the lives of offenders. Following the deaths of five innocent parties during police pursuits our policy was changed in March of 2010. Since then, there has been a drastic reduction in the number of pursuits, the percentage of pursuits resulting in crashes, injuries to officers, and deaths. So far this year, two senior citizens and two juveniles have been killed either by or in stolen cars. Would the Alderman be happier if the Police Department had been chasing them at the moment of impact? As he is a member of the Public Safety Committee, I would urge him to request a meeting to discuss this topic in detail rather than engage in his typical press release bombast. I also suggest he invite the families of the individuals killed during police pursuits and solicit their opinions.